Rapid Electricity Saving Activities

More severe weather extremes will raise the demand for electricity, e.g., caused by heat waves (air condition facilities) or cold winter periods and can influence the supply in a negative way too (less hydropower during droughts).

Modern weather forecasting provides high-quality information early enough to react by rapid energy saving activities, especially by using the media to influence the behaviour of people. Experiences have been made in some countries like Brazil, New Zealand and Sweden. The durations of the actions were different, several months (droughts in Brazil and New Zealand; safety problems in nuclear power stations in Japan) or just one weekend (cold Monday in Sweden). Rapid temporary reductions of electricity consumption were achieved avoiding shortfalls. The best results were achieved in Brazil (minus 20% electricity demand); a huge media campaign and a lot of technical measures were the pillars. In New Zealand, a reduction of 10% was achieved. In Sweden, the effect was calculated by 4% less electricity consumption.

A regional strategy for rapid electricity saving activities can be developed by cooperation of local authorities, energy suppliers, energy agencies, and the media.

Book cover of "Saving Electricity in a Hurry" (IEA, 2005)


  • More information can be found in the book "Saving Electricity in a Hurry - Dealing with Temporary Shortfalls in Electricity Suppliers", which can be downloaded on the website of the International Energy Agency.